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Emission Trading Scheme Focus Now Has To Shift

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

18 June 2008 - UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne says political uncertainty now requires the government to shift its focus on the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme. Mr Dunne, whose UnitedFuture party resolved yesterday not to support the legislation any further, says it now seems unlikely the government will have the numbers to pass it.

"Therefore they will have to shift their focus, in the interests of a longer-term viable approach to climate change policy.

"Their apparent short-term goal, getting something done before the election so they can look good is rapidly becoming unstuck, because other parties are not prepared to buy into that game," he says.

Mr Dunne says the government now risks the worst of all possible outcomes: no legislation, and everything going back to square one.

"That would be a disaster, but it is one a more prudent approach could have avoided, had the government been prepared to consult more widely with other parties from the outset.

"But the flawed political management it displayed on the Electoral Finance Bill and more recently, the Real Estate Bill of simply trying to line up a bare majority to get it through as quickly as possible has rebounded on it once more.

"Labour should accept that this crash-through style simply does not work on contentious issues under MMP.

"It should abandon the blinkered approach to passing the Emissions Trading Scheme legislation at virtually any cost, just so as to look good before the election, and focus on the broader picture of developing a regime that is both politically and environmentally sustainable.

"Ideally, it should be doing this in concert with our major trading partner Australia.

"Delaying the passage of this legislation a few months to get it right is hardly going to rock the planet to its foundations," he says.

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